The editors of Fark.com have a typically cheeky (as in tongue-in) take on the newly departed attorney general: “White House officials say Attorney General Gonzales has submitted his letter of resignation. However, Gonzales says he can’t recalling writing any such letter, or his reasons for taking such an action.”
“Everyone in Washington is talking about how devastating this article is,” Michael Kinsley writes in Slate of “Present at the Creation,” [$] former Bush speechwriter Matthew Scully’s blast at Matthew Gerson, his former boss who is now a Washington Post columnist, as a credit-stealing glory hog. But Kinsley doesn’t think Scully’s piece is worth the dust-up: “What a disappointment! If this is the best the Bush administration can do when attacking one another, no wonder they can’t win the war in Iraq.”
More beauty contests, please! Slate’s Mickey Kaus wants the presidential primary calendar to be even more confusing: If the Democratic National Committee says Florida’s presidential primary won’t count unless it takes place in February, why doesn’t Florida just move its meaningless “beauty contest” primary ahead of even New Hampshire and Iowa? He writes at Kausfiles, his Slate blog:
Better yet, we could have two rounds of primaries. Start with a full roster of non-delegate-selecting ‘beauty contests” in 2007, including in the big states. This would winnow the field. Then, just about the time buyer’s remorse sets in and we wonder if there’s not a better candidate, we could have the second round of real, official, delegate-binding primaries.
Fredo Gets Whacked
In any case, it’s far past time for Gonzales to go. No one did anything illegal in terminating the federal prosecutors, but Gonzales and his team made it into a royal botch-up anyway. Gonzales really should have resigned after telling people publicly that the attorneys had performance issues when their reviews showed that they had performed well. That set off a series of statements that Gonzales had to retract or clarify, including some in Senate testimony that made him appear as though he hardly had anything to do with running the Department of Justice.
Morrissey isn’t as happy about the rumor that Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff could be nominated to replace Gonzales as attorney general. He writes in the same post:
I tend to think that they’ll go for someone less associated with the administration, hopefully learning from the nomination of Robert Gates at Defense that going outside can have its advantages. If they do nominate Chertoff, it promises not one but two bruising confirmation battles, the second to replace Chertoff at DHS. There has to be more quality choices available, even in a lame-duck administration.
Michelle Malkin agrees that Chertoff would be an unwise replacement. Instead, she thinks it’s time for a reboot: She proposes a new attorney general who could help the administration pretend the whole Gonzales era never happened. Malkin writes at her personal blog:
If they want the best qualified, most experienced AG candidate who is serious about enforcing all of our laws, including our immigration laws, and who is best equipped to serve in a time of war, the choice would be obvious: John Ashcroft.